Sunday, January 29, 2012

FILM: The Three Stooges Trailer (News)

Comedies are usually not covered here at Geekplate but when it involves a reintroduction of a legendary group into the modern age, like 20th Century Fox's THE THREE STOOGES, it deserves a look at.

Giving this comedy immediate credibility is that the Farrelly Brothers (HALL PASS) are directing. Starring as the protagonist trio is Sean Hayes (CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE) as Larry, Will Sasso (LIFE AS WE KNOW IT) as Curly and Chris Diamantopoulos (UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT) as Moe. And if that is not enough, the film seems to be littered with celebrity cameos throughout.

THE THREE STOOGES goes bumbling into theaters on April 13, 2012.

Friday, January 27, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Teen Titans #5 (Review)

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund
Cover: Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

It looks like it only took a month of being back to reviewing comics on a weekly basis for a company to put together successive weeks of wowing me with a book that would keep them at the top of my reading stack and this week it was DC tightening its hold on top with the release of TEEN TITANS #5.

And I seemed to be in a team book haze this week as I also enjoyed DC's other legendary team book, JUSTICE LEAGUE #6. And while that issue with the adult team mixing it up with Darkseid was almost my choice, it was the intrigue in TEEN TITANS #5 that is Superboy as an unknown factor in the battle against the teen heroes that was just too great to pass up.

Writer Scott Lobdell has been at the helm of the series since the relaunch of TEEN TITANS in the New 52 DC initiative, and at the same time is pulling double duty by being the writer on SUPERBOY as well and readers of both are seeing the two series intertwine as N.O.W.H.E.R.E throws Superboy at the Titans.

The great thing about this issue's battle is how several of the characters get a moment to shine as they take on Superboy before the eventuality of Superboy gaining the upper hand takes place. For someone like me who is not too familiar with several of these new Titans - not including oldies like Red Robin, Kid Flash and Wondergirl who have new twists to their character in the DC 52 to learn about as well - it is great to get a feel for what Bunker and Solstice can do.

And the underlying theme so far in the series of that destruction seems to follow the teen heroes stays true in this issue as the battle with Superboy is really wrecking things around them and even Solstice's save of Kid Flash involved damaging a battleship in the harbor.

A perfect match for the story is the art in this book. The individuality of each character's abilities really come out on the pages, whether it be Superboy's tactile telekinesis or Bunker's psionic bricks, Kid Flash's speed, the action just looks fantastic.

I have always been a fan of team books, and especially that of the Teen Titans. It has been ages though since I've enjoyed the title and now with the fresh start of the DC 52 I think the series has a chance to do something special like the Titans books of decades ago and I can confidently say this is a great beginning so far.

Look to buy the TEEN TITANS #5 digital comic on Comixology for $1.99

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

FILM: Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D Posters (News)

In February comes out the first 3D conversion rerelease from the Star Wars Saga, with STAR WARS - EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE 3D. A few months back the trailer was shown and now being much closer to the start date Lucasfilm has unleashed onto the web newly designed posters for the 3D version of the movie.

Being a poster junkie that I am, I welcome the opportunity to have new official posters to look at and here are two of them. The first image highlights the epic Podracing that takes place on Tatooine and the second features Darth Maul, the surprisingly memorable villain that is part of one of the best lightsaber fights of the series.

STAR WARS - EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE 3D forces its way into theaters in a galaxy far, far away on February 10, 2012.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

SPORTS: A Look at LA's Possible Future NFL Stadium (News)

It is fast approaching two decades since the NFL had a team in the city of Los Angeles and while future prospects still seem cloudy there is hope. AEG, the entity that brought Staples Center to Downtown LA nearly thirteen years ago and has since built an ecosystem around the arena in the decade since named "LA Live", is looking to build a stadium right in the same area.

There is still plenty of red tape to go through and breaks are needed to happen for Los Angeles to get a willing team not just using the opportunity as leverage against its own market but roughly the idea is to remodel the ancient convention center that is adjacent to Staples Center and making it a part of the possible stadium project.

Recently the design firm in charge of the schematics of Farmers Field released new renderings in AEG's latest project update. Included in the restyled design is an ambitious level of innovation when it comes to converting the stadium to an enclosed environment with a deployable roof solution that takes retractable roofs of present day and blows them out of the water.

Friday, January 20, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Tiny Titans #48 (Review)

Writer: Art Baltazar & Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar
Cover: Art Baltazar

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

If there is one thing I have learned in having written a weekly comic year for nearly two years is that I have a type of book that will almost always blow me away when I read it.

If it is fun, makes me laugh and want to read it forever like this week's TINY TITANS #48 then it will find itself on its way to the top of the stack by the time I read everything else.

And that is what happened this week. No other book really competed with the miniature heroes. There were a few solid issues, like IDW's STAR TREK #5, which does such a great job of capturing the world and characters from the new movie universe, or DC's BIRDS OF PREY #5, which kept me guessing as to what was really going on and is such a great looking book art-wise, but both seemed to miss that special sparkle that I always seem to see when a new issue of TINY TITANS graces my presence.

The longstanding creative team of Baltazar & Franco continue to weave an all-ages masterpiece with this series. As the cover teases, Baltazar & Franco have the TINY TITANS characters take on the idea of secret identities in only the way they can. By making use of pairs of thick-framed glasses, just like Clark Kent wears!

From Barbara taking of her cowl and finally revealing her full face and red hair - of which Robin seemed to be a fan of - to the titans taking a trip to Barbara's Secret Bat-Lair to try on vintage clothes found in her dad's old trunk, the story flowed from one silly moment to the next never losing the momentum of fun in the pages.

But best of all may be Wondergirl and her oranges. First the secret orange that tells her secrets and then her own wacky dream of Secret Oranges vs the Just Us Cows ... those pages steal the show and take the hilarity to another level.

The art continues to carry the energy of the characters and could easily translate to the animated world (if dreams would come true!) with the easy to recognize design of the characters and the ability to make anything seem possible in the TINY TITANS world.

I LOVE this book and any fan of DC or fun in general should give this comic a read. Easily something I would give to a younger relative, with quick, clever stories that get right to the punchline that also have nods to the older fans that know the DC Universe quite well. This is my favorite DCU title and it should be yours too.

The TINY TITANS #48 issue is not available digitally yet (BOO!) but look to buy the first 40 digital comic issues of TINY TITANS on Comixology for only $0.99 each.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

FILM: Prometheus Teaser Trailer (News)

One of the more interesting releases this summer comes from the creative mind of Ridley Scott (ROBIN HOOD), who returns to the genre he helped mold decades ago - science fiction. Gone are the days of ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER but in June comes the new story of PROMETHEUS.

Joining Scott in this new venture is a star-studded cast: Michael Fassbender (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS), Noomi Rapace (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), Charlize Theron (YOUNG ADULT) and Guy Pearce (THE HURT LOCKER).

PROMETHEUS hits theaters on June 8, 2012.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

FILM: The Expendables 2 Teaser Trailer + Poster (News)

Another sequel is coming this summer with Lionsgate's THE EXPENDABLES 2.

Director Simon West (LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER) is coming aboard to helm this next installment that reunites many of the big names from the first film and brings in another batch of high caliber action stars to join in the fun.

Amongst the stars back are Sylvester Stallone (RAMBO) as Barney Ross, Jason Statham (GNOMEO & JULIET) as Lee Christmas and Jet Li (THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR) as Yin Yang.

Increased roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS) and Bruce Willis (RED), and newcomers to the series: Chuck Norris (THE DELTA FORCE) and Jean-Claude Van Damme (KUNG FU PANDA 2).

THE EXPENDABLES 2 blows into theaters on August 17, 2012.

Friday, January 13, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Star Wars: Agent of the Empire - Iron Eclipse #2 (Review)

Writer: John Ostrander
Artist: Stephane Roux
Cover: Stephane Roux

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.50

While the number of books in my reading stack went down this week, the competition for the favorite spot was intensely tougher.

Several publishers brought fantastic issues to the table: Image's INVINCIBLE #87 had Mark making the hard choices and faced with a deadly idea, Marvel's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #677 found Peter Parker reeling in his social life and Black Cat and Daredevil popping up in his webbed life, and DC's FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #5 had the rogue O.M.A.C. cross paths with Frankenstein in an epic collision.

Any of those titles were great reads that I enjoyed spending time on and worthy of the top spot, but apparently I had a secret agent story itch that needed to be scratched and Dark Horse's STAR WARS: AGENT OF THE EMPIRE - IRON ECLIPSE #2 hit that spot. Agent? Check. Star Wars? Bonus!

Writer John Ostrander is no stranger to the Star Wars Universe or the top of the stack with his long run on Star Wars: Legacy and the Star Wars: Legacy - War mini-series that followed it. This time he is going from the far future stories of Legacy to a time just a few years before the events of A NEW HOPE.

This is the second issue of the mini-series so the protagonist, Jahan Cross, is in the middle of his investigation and that has led him to a party at an Imperial Embassy where the Stark family he is looking for is attending. From there Cross with the help of his droid is at his best, dishing out political small talk, saving a damsel in social distress and seducing the stepmother only to find himself in a dicey situation.

Once I read the name of the book's artist, Stephane Roux, I knew the art was going to be fantastic and it showed immediately with the stylish cover that was totally giving off James Bond 60's vibe. Like his work on last year's ZATANNA ongoing for DC, there is a vibrant smoothness to the art, the characters are distinct and aliens - especially Twi'leks - are drawn quite well.

An interesting premise to a Star Wars mini-series and I definitely think fans should give it a try. You will not be disappointed, an exciting story from start to finish paired with great art and interesting characters. I will be picking up the rest of the issues and hopefully this will be the first of many peeks into the life of Jahan Cross.

Look to buy the STAR WARS: AGENT OF THE EMPIRE - IRON ECLIPSE #2 digital comic on Dark Horse Digital for $1.99

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

FILM: A Look at The Amazing Spider-Man (News)

This summer is crowded with potential blockbusters receiving tons of hype: THE HUNGER GAMES, THE AVENGERS, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES; but there is another film that is being somewhat overshadowed that I might be the most excited for. That is July's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, a reboot of the Marvel/Columbia Pictures film franchise that was a big part of the last decade.

So how can I not eagerly share images from the film that have now hit the web? The first image is of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Peter Parker's love interest, and the second shows Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) in full costume in action.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN swings into theaters on July 3, 2012.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

FILM: Men in Black 3 Trailer (News)

Trilogies are usually planned but sometimes they happen unexpectedly as in this case, when 10 years after the sequel comes the final installment in the Men In Black trilogy, MEN IN BLACK III.

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (WILD WILD WEST), who also directed the first two Men In Black films, MEN IN BLACK III also reunites the main protagonists of the series: Will Smith (I AM LEGEND) as Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER) as Agent K.

Joining the regulars this time around are Emma Thompson (HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2) as O, Josh Brolin (TRUE GRIT) as a young Agent K and Alice Eve (SHE'S OUT OF MY LEAGUE) as a young Agent O.

In Men in Black 3, Agents J and K are back… in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K’s life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him — secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.

MEN IN BLACK III flashes into theaters on May 25, 2012.

Friday, January 6, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Peanuts #1 (Review)

Writer: Charles Schulz, Vicki Scott & Shane Houghton
Artist: Vicki Scott & Matt Whitlock
Cover: Charles Schulz

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Price: $3.99

2012's first week of comics brought with it a stack nearly a person high - at least it felt that way. There was also a bit of a topsy-turvy feel to comics right now with most of the issues I am reading being in the single digits when it comes to issue numbering.

What has not changed is my selection of a best comic of the week to place at the very top of the stack and there were only two real contenders: WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS #6, which brought fantastic art to the Sci-Fi fantasy book that combined with the penultimate installment of the current story arc made for an enticing story, but while outstanding just fell short of the actual pick, PEANUTS #1 from BOOM! Studios.

Last spring BOOM! Studios released a Peanuts graphic novel under their KABOOM! line that was so well received that now a monthly installment of stories featuring the Peanuts gang has started. A few inside are classic strips written by the creator of the comic strip, Charles Schulz, while Vicki Scott & Shane Houghton contribute the stories surrounding Schulz's Peanuts shorts.

The first story involved Lucy trying to rid herself of a song stuck in her head and how it keeps coming back no matter who she goes to for help. The second story again features Lucy, this time pulling Snoopy into her scheme to make some money when poor Frieda's cat goes missing. And for a perfect three for three, the final story is Lucy teaching the reader how to draw Charlie Brown. Between each short is a classic strip from Schulz and it goes to show the accurate portrayal of the characters that the issue is one seamless read of fun.

Like the stories, the art stays true to the characters and Schulz design of them. The cover is a shot of an excited Snoopy on Charlie Brown's back as they ride down a snow hill on a sled. There is a simple beauty to it, showcasing two iconic characters: a boy and his dog, being the best friends that they are. The interiors continue the vibrant simplicity, making the kids feel alive - Lucy especially radiates in the pages, showing all the facets of her personality from one panel to another.

It was mostly out of nostalgia that had me pick out this issue to read, and boy am I glad I did. These characters are just so fun to read, no matter what they happen to be doing. A perfect example of being timeless. This looks to be a four issue run and I plan on picking up each one. If you are a fan of all ages books or Peanuts strips - like me - then you will want to give this issue a buy. BOOM! Studios continues its excellent choices for the KABOOM! line.

Look to buy the PEANUTS #1 digital comic on Comixology or Graphicly for $1.99

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

FILM: GI Joe - Retaliation Trailer (News)

Three years after the first attempt at bringing the G.I. JOE franchise to the big screen in live-action by Paramount resulted in a mixed bag of solid box office receipts and lukewarm critical appeal comes a sequel with MGM that looks and feels ten times more intense titled, G.I. JOE: RETALIATION.

Stepping in to direct this next installment is Jon Chu (STEP UP 3D), and returning from the first film is Channing Tatum (THE VOW) as Duke, Arnold Vosloo (THE MUMMY) as Zartan, and Ray Park (EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE) as Snake Eyes.

There is some added star power in this one as joining the cast is Dwayne Johnson (FASTER) as Roadblock and Bruce Willis (RED) as General Joseph Colton. Bringing the girl power this time around is newcomer Adrianne Palicki (LEGION) as Lady Jane.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION saves the day in theaters on June 29, 2012.

Monday, January 2, 2012

FILM: A Look at Disney Pixar's Brave (News)

A new year, another new animated feature film release from the crew over at Disney Pixar. The trailer and poster were unveiled last summer for BRAVE and now images from the film have been released online.

The first image shows Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane) and the second has the star of the story, Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald).

BRAVE hits theaters on June 22, 2012.